CMHA Ontario joins Canadians across the country in observing the country’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30.
The day was established by the federal government to honour survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.
The physical, psychological and spiritual violence stemming from residential schools has caused pain that has been passed from generation to generation. The recent discoveries in BC and Saskatchewan reflects the long history of racism, violence and cultural genocide towards Indigenous peoples in Canada which did not end with the closure of residential schools. It continues to this day. Every day, Indigenous people live the very real impacts of systemic racism and colonialism, which affect their mental health and well-being.
CMHA Ontario stands with CMHA National in calling for our health care system and decision-makers to heed the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to support Indigenous communities’ calls to action on reconciliation, and particularly those in support of Indigenous mental health, healing, and well-being.
As part of our own commitment to advance reconciliation, CMHA branches across Ontario have been engaging in meaningful partnerships with Indigenous organizations and leaders in the development and implementation of cultural programs and services, including supporting Indigenous-led mental health promotion within communities, valuing Indigenous healing practices and ways of working rooted in the principles of cultural safety and self-determination, and offering Indigenous cultural awareness training for staff members.
For more information and a schedule of virtual Truth and Reconciliation events open to the general public, visit the National Centre of Truth and Reconciliation website.